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Image result for fall photography tea cozy

Halloween just passed and Thanksgiving is around the corner; we are in the heart of fall! This time of year is most beautiful due to the colors of the changing of leaves and cozying up next to a fire with a fall snack and tea. Why not bring that joy to someone you loves’ home or as a gift to yourself “just because”. Here at ETS, we have beautiful hand made gift baskets that can act as a decoration and provide some tasty treats and teas to visitors throughout the holidays! It is a great way to try some things you’ve been wanting to without purchasing more than you need. Choose a gift basket from below and let us know what your favorite item is!


Tastes of Fall Gourmet Gift Basket

The Tastes of Fall Gourmet Gift Basket


This beautiful basket is for the food lover in your life! It features some delicious treats that are perfect for a fall party! You will receive a popcorn ball, corn cob popping popcorn, smokey cheese straws, smoked salami, chocolate & caramel salted cookies, honey wheat dipping pretzels, vanilla caramels, chamberry truffles, grained mustard, french onion dip mix and a copper finish oval platter!




Fall Snack Chest

Fall Snack Chest


This basket is great for the snacker in your life. With many different chips & candies and some tea to wash it down with, this basket is great for trying some things you’ve never had before! This basket includes miss vickies bistro chips, snack mix, cherry bon bon candies, vanilla cream spice tea, shortbread cookies, veggie cheese dip and honey mustard pretzels all wrapped in a dark stained wicker hamper.





Or for our more crafty customers, you can head to our British Food Store Section on our site, choose some items to add to your basket, then head to your local crafts store to purchase a basket and fall decor to make your own!







You love your mother. She does so much for you and sometimes it feels like we don’t do enough for them. Busy schedules usually don’t allow for it but why not spend Mother’s Day having tea with your mom?

If your mother is a huge tea fan and loves to drink her favorite type or brand of tea, she could never have too much! We always carry a wide variety of loose leaf and tea bags along with all of our popular teas, ranging from our very own brand to the popular British brands, along with many more.

However, if your mother is talking about trying new things, why not trying an English Tea Store Tea of the Month subscription? While you can pay month to month and choose loose leaf and tea bags, you can also pick a prepaid annual subscription along with a 20% automatic discount! This way, our teas of the month will simply arrive at your mother’s door! Click here for more information.

To enjoy with her tea, pick some of Mom’s favorite cookies and cakes or get her something she has never tried before! Some of our newest cookies include two of Cadbury’s most popular chocolate bars in a biscuit: Cadbury Crunchie and Cadbury Wispa. The Crunchie biscuits have a honeycomb crunch while Wispa biscuits have a bubbly, chocolatey middle. If she prefers something simple, then you can’t go wrong on Walker’s shortbread, pure buttery rounds of sweet crumbly goodness. Perfect with nearly everything from tea to coffee.

For more Mother’s Day gift ideas, check out our wonderful selection of gifts.



Please note: When purchasing chocolate products in the spring or summer time, please be aware of weather conditions as chocolate may melt during shipment. For chocolate to arrive in top condition, please select “Next Day Air” at checkout.



Valentine’s Day is well known for celebrating love between two people. I feel Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers, but for friends and family, as well. After all, these are people you love and cherish. Why not show your love and appreciation for them? Try our selection of Valentine’s Day gifts that are sure to brighten up everyone you love!teagsmg1000037835_-00_a-stash-of-love-gift-set

If you have a tea loving friend or family member, while tea is a good gift, but why not an accessory or an essential? By essential, try a tea kettle or a teapot. One can never have too many of those? If one ever breaks, you can always have extra! As always, our English Tea Store teapots come in many colors and you can choose from 2 cup or 6 cup teapot!

Perhaps the person you love is from the other side of the Pond? Wouldn’t you like to give them a taste of Home? We’ve got our selection of British sweets and chocolate to start off with. Some of our most popular candies include the world famous melt-in-your-mouth Cadbury Dairy Milk and the gooey but heavenly sweet Walkers Toffee. Let your love show their patriotism with their favorite items featuring the Union Jack. Give them a travel mug to sip their tea from or let the world know where they’re from with they’re shopping bag. Or surprise your Across the Pond Honey with a flag of Home! Great Britain, Scotland, and plenty more! Hang it in the kitchen or living room, it will bring a smile!

You can always put a steasvbf1000033494_-00_the-romance-of-tea-valentine-gift-basket_2urprise package together but if you’re strapped for time, try our gift baskets. They’re easy, convenient, and best of all, there’s just about one for everyone! If you know someone who is a fan of mint, we have a mint tea time basket featuring chamomile tea, or someone who is just getting into tea, there is the English Tea Store basket, and then the Deluxe Afternoon Tea for the full English tea experience!

There’s just about something for everyone. Take a look around our site and check out all of our categories!



Happy Valentine’s Day!!


Awhile back I mentioned that It’s Not Too Early to Order Those Holiday Gift Baskets. If you didn’t get the job done then, never fear — it’s not too late! Just be sure you include these 5 essential items to make that gift basket a real winner:

1 A Basket

Duh! Thought I’d start with the most obvious item. And by “basket” I am referring to a range of items that get wider every year and creative minds come up with more and more options.

Holiday Gift Basket - Splitwood Tub with Tree (ETS image)

Holiday Gift Basket – Splitwood Tub with Tree (ETS image)

There are woven straw or wood baskets, metal buckets, sleighs (both woven straw and metal ones), and a plethora of wood, ceramic, and other materials being used in an array of shapes. Your giftee will be keeping this item long after its contents are gone, so choose wisely. One of my faves (limited quantity): Holiday Gift Basket – Splitwood Tub with Tree.

Keemun Panda Tea (ETS image)

Keemun Panda Tea (ETS image)

2 Tea

Okay, another no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how many tea gift baskets contain everything but tea! Or the tea is of a very inferior sort. Select some better quality teas, keeping in mind the preferences of your giftee or perhaps a way to treat them to an enhanced tea experience, kind of elevating their tea consciousness, as it were. Something special like Ti Kuan Yin Iron Goddess Oolong Tea – Loose Leaf, Golden Pu-erh Tea – Loose Leaf, or Jasmine Dragon Tears Green Tea – Loose Leaf Pouches. I would personally be very thrilled to receive and of these: Scottish Breakfast Tea – Loose Leaf Pouches, English Breakfast Blend No. 1 Tea – Loose Leaf Pouches, Borengajuli Estate Tea – Loose Leaf Pouches, Tarajulie Estate Tea – Loose Leaf Pouches, and Keemun Panda China Black Tea – Loose Leaf Pouches (just to name a few).

 (ETS image)

(ETS image)

3 Appropriate Treats

Certain special treats not only go well with tea but are very appropriate for the holiday season. Mince pies (I can’t get enough of them!), gingerbread, British style puddings, Christmas Crackers and Cakes, and special candies like Nestle Quality Street are but a few of the options facing you. Choose wisely based on what you know of the giftee. Beware of special dietary concerns (gluten allergy, diabetes, etc.). Personally, I’d go for the O’Haras Iced Fruit Slab Christmas Cake – yum!

4 A Special Teapot and/or Mug

Happy Holidays Mug (ETS image)

Happy Holidays Mug (ETS image)

Okay…okay…another no-brainer, but you’d be amazed how many tea gift baskets are missing this essential feature. I mean, really, if your giftee is new to tea, he or she won’t even own a teapot and may not have a mug that isn’t stained with coffee (having worked in a food service at university, I saw lots of such mugs and tried fruitlessly to de-stain them). Plus, that teapot or mug should have a holiday-themed design to add a bit of the proper “Ghost of Christmas Present” spirit that Dickens wrote about.

5 Lots of Love!

Bows on that basket can say “Here’s lots of love for you!” (From Yahoo! Images)

Bows on that basket can say “Here’s lots of love for you!” (From Yahoo! Images)

Bet you didn’t see that one coming! But it is truly the secret ingredient of a good tea gift basket … or of any gift, for that matter. Ribbons and bows are just one way to express this sentiment. They shine and even sparkle and convey a very uplifting spirit. Of course, giving that giftee an nice big hug when you present your tea gift basket says a lot, too.

So now you know. Time to get shopping! Or leave a hint for someone else to give you a tea gift basket. Ho, ho, ho!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Metal Snowflakes Gift BasketWant to give the gift of tea this Christmas but not sure what that should be? Tea gift baskets can be the perfect answer.

Gift giving is a way to share something we like with others, give them something special we know they’ll like, or just let them know we’re thinking of them. Sometimes, workplaces promote a gift giving program called “Secret Santa” where you draw a name of a co-worker to give a gift without them knowing it’s you. Each of these types of giving can be met with a tea gift basket, especially if you craft it just right.

To guide you in this undertaking, I’ve laid out some basic principles for crafting the perfect basket.

First, start by selecting a tea or two and be sure to consider the level of tea knowledge of the giftee:

  • Newbie — stick to the basics such as a black tea blend, a common type of green tea like gunpowder, or a generic white blend.
  • Mid-level tea drinker — ratchet up the tea choices a notch, swapping that black tea blend for Buckingham Palace Garden Partyor Scottish Breakfast (Assam with a bit of Keemun) and the gunpowder green tea for a Japanese sencha.
  • For the “Tea Princess” on your list — Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea, a Darjeeling 2nd or Autumnal Flush, Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose Festival Green Tea, or even Peony White Needle White Tea.
  • For your boss or someone else you want to impress — Adams Peak White Tea, Wuyi Oolong, Darjeeling White Tips White Tea, or Nine Bend Black Dragon.

Second, pick some treat or two that would go well with the teas selected according to the above list:

  • Scone mixto go with that black tea blend, especially if it contains Assam tea.
  • Lemon cookiesto go with the gunpowder tea.
  • Fruit tarts to go with the Yunnan.
  • Carrot cake or cheesecake to go with the Sencha.
  • Cookies with cinnamon, vanilla, and other such flavors to go with the Darjeeling.
  • A package of chocolate covered McVitie’s Digestives to go with anything. (Hey, it’s chocolate!)

Third, an appropriate teaware will help your giftee enjoy the tea(s) in the basket:

  • For loose teas, a nice little teapot, with an infuser basket or with a strainer, and a holiday design mug.
  • For bagged teas, either a nice little teapot with a holiday design mug, or a tea-for-one or tea-for-two set.

Woven Christmas Tree Gift BasketOnce you know what you want in the gift basket, you can select a basket that’s the right size. Basketsserve two purposes: first, to hold things, and second, to be an attractive part of the gift and possibly something the giftee will keep for years to come (I certainly have). So, choose well. Metal, wood, plastic, and woven baskets in a variety of shapes, including round, oval, rectangular, or such objects as sleighs, are available. Metal, wood, and plastic will last longer, but a woven sleigh basket will look so cute with a teddy bear in it when the tea is gone and the holidays are past.

These ideas should get you started on crafting that perfect tea gift basket. Happy hunting!

Don’t miss A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!

Chocolate-Flavored Chai

Chocolate-Flavored Chai

I love chai — I love the winter holiday season — so it’s natural to have chais for the holidays! Well, actually, chai is good anytime. It just seems to be especially good this time of year. All that chilly weather and those leaves putting on their color show and then drifting into piles on the ground — they prompt us to get the fireplaces crackling, the snuggly blankets out, and the mugs full of chai for a cozy tea time.

“Chai” is actually a Hindi word for “tea,” but in the U.S. the term is used to mean a spiced tea. There are a wide variety of recipes, ranging from the more authentic Indian chai, preferred by us self-proclaimed “chai snobs,” to those chai latté drinks you can get at your favorite tea/coffee shop, chocolate chais, egg nog chais, and even chais used in holiday recipes.

Chocolate chai is one of my favorite variations from the traditional version. I like to start with a good black tea, such as Scottish Breakfast, a CTC Assam, or Young Pu-erh (some people have even been known to start with a nice smoky Lapsang Souchong). Usually, the ratio of water to milk is 2 to 1, but with this type, I do 1 part water to 4 parts milk. Start by steeping the tea and then adding it to a saucepan on the stove. Stir in sugar or sweetener (about 3/8 cup per cup of water) and cocoa powder (1/4 cup per cup of water). Stir and heat mixture over medium heat to a boil. Add in milk, vanilla (preferably the whole bean kind) and some nutmeg and cinnamon to taste. Heat through but don’t boil.

"Happy Holidays" MugThis next step is crucial: Find an appropriate mug, not just some every day mug, but one befitting the occasion. If you’re not quite ready to break out a mug that says “Happy Holidays” and is decorated with poinsettias, snowmen, ornaments, etc., stick to a plain mug in an appropriate color, such as harvest gold, bright green, or red. This is also an occasion when a big glob of fresh whipped cream will be most fitting and not upset the sensibilities of those among the avid tea drinking set who shudder at the thought. If desired, sprinkle a bit of nutmeg on the whipped cream.

While you can certainly drink chais without milk, the flavor tends to be smoother and more holiday-ish with milk. If you’re worried about the calories, I can assure you that they’re minimal. According to the carton of whole milk in my fridge, 8 oz. of milk has 150 calories, or about 19 calories per ounce. Your cup of chai (the normal kind, not the kind I just described) will normally have only about one ounce, possibly two, so you’re only adding 19-38 calories. Unless you are planning to drink a few dozen cupfuls at a time (in which case, you will be buzzing around so much from the caffeine that you’ll burn off all those calories from the milk), the extra calories won’t hurt a bit. Of course, if you add in a heaped teaspoon or two of table sugar at about 25 calories each, the numbers start to add up. Try using another sweetener instead, if you’re watching your intake.

Chai Gift Basket

Chai Gift Basket

Spread the joy to your tea drinking friends. Gift baskets are burgeoning with pre-mixed chais, from single serve packs by Chai Amore, Serenity, etc., to bagged versions from Twinings, Stash, Revolution, The Republic of Tea, Harney and Sons, Mighty Leaf, and many more. You will be able to find just about any chai variety your giftee could want. Most of these contain cinnamon, nutmeg, and other standard spices. (Caution: some people are allergic to cinnamon and nutmeg; you might want to check first.)


Make sure to check out A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!

It’s getting to be the time of year to spread a little Mother’s Day magic. After all, mother’s do so much for us, starting with, well, life!

The history of how Mother’s Day came to be celebrated includes such far flung things as the Egyptian Goddess Isis and her brother, Osiris, a woman named Anna Jarvis, another woman named Mary Towles Sasseen, still another woman named Julia Ward Howe, ancient Romans, and lots more, as a quick online search revealed. Ways to celebrate are also many and encompass countries around the globe. Festivals, religious services, and gift giving are common practices. For example, Argentina celebrates Motherhood as part of Spring, India celebrates a “westernized” version with similar gift giving to what we do here, Finland focuses on getting back to nature with a walk to pick flowers and then breakfast in bed for Mom, whereas Ethiopa celebrates at the end of the rainy season when they can gather for large family meals.

Breakfast in Bed Gift Basket

Breakfast in Bed Gift Basket

In the U.S., the date is set to the second Sunday in May. In typical fashion, the occasion became commercialized shortly after Woodrow Wilson signed the official declaration. Today, in this country we spend about $14 billion every year on gifts for Mom.

Regardless of what you think of the day being commercialized, showing Mom that she’s appreciated is a great idea. And, quite frankly, I don’t see any harm in a bit of gift giving. Not being a mother, I don’t have to worry about anyone thinking I am just trolling for presents (besides, I don’t need a special occasion to do that — troll…troll…).

Despite the women’s lib movement of the 1960s and 1970s, gifts for Mom seem to follow stereotypical female roles. The highest dollar amounts spent are still for a special meal out (to save Mom from cooking), flowers, and jewelry. Nothing wrong with that. Not very magical, though. In fact, they can be downright repetitive.

Time for something new.



Now, you might not think a gift basket is new, or magical, or even inspired. Think again. Fill your gift basket with a tea selected especially for Mom, maybe an herbal like Chamomile that will soothe her while you proceed to turn the kitchen into a shambles making her breakfast in bed. Chocolate is also known to have calming qualities, so throw in some Cadbury, Nestlé, or other brands. Noticing the theme here? “Calm,” “soothe” — very important for today’s frazzled moms, ever busy driving you to sports or band practice, possibly holding down a full-time job, and keeping the household humming along.

More ideas for Mom’s gift basket: scone mix, a special mug, honey sticks, dip mix, candles, and a wonderful container to hold it all. Of course, you can go for a themed basket in line with your mother’s personality and interests. The chess player basket could have a book on winning chess moves, chessmen made of white and dark chocolate, thinker’s tea (a hearty blend of black teas), and something to munch while she’s contemplating the next move. A literary basket would have a classic novel by one of her favorite authors, along with tea and other goodies to enjoy while reading. Of course, there are the tried-and-true options of gardening-themed or a breakfast-in-bed special.

Here’s where the magical part comes in: After Mom has enjoyed the contents of the gift basket, she’ll be so lulled into a state of bliss, that you can spring that last minute science project on her with no adverse reaction. Well, maybe that’s going too far, but she won’t totally freak out. Just a bit of yelling while she bundles you in the car to head to the store to buy what you need to build a human brain, mini-ecosystem that mimics the rainforest, or whatever kids have to do these days.

Give it a try. Enjoy!

A.C. might not be a mother, but that doesn’t keep her from offering up motherly tea advice each and every day over on her blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!

You love tea, you love your sweetie, so why not combine the two in a Valentine’s Day tea gift? Okay, all you lovers out there, it’s that time of year when you get to let that special someone really know how you feel. Don’t forget about family, friends, co-workers, classmates, that special teacher, your boss, and that someone special in your neighborhood who has been helpful. We all know someone who needs to hear that they are appreciated. And the choices are plentiful.

Baskets (pre-made and custom)

Even if you’re on a budget, you can say “I love you” with a gift basket, since many are priced below $20. Pre-made baskets contain teas, cocoas, candies, treats, and sometimes teawares (teapots, mugs, etc.). Who says your money doesn’t go far these days? And what a great excuse for a cozy Valentine’s Day tea moment. I can just hear you saying:

  • “Here, dear, sit back while I make you some tea and scones.”
  • Sweets for the sweet. Enjoy while the tea is steeping and I read you these love poems.”
  • “Who needs real roses when we have chocolate ones, each other, and tea?”

You get the idea.

Candy and Treats

Chocolates are very traditional for Valentine’s Day. Don’t worry about the calories. Just be sure to drink some tea with them (green tea goes especially well). Not only is tea great for speeding up your metabolism and burning off those extra calories, it makes chocolate taste even more chocolaty (at least it does to me). Of course, buying good quality chocolate and the best green tea helps. The heart-shaped box also makes chocolate taste better — honest! Of course, rose-shaped chocolates and chocolate-covered pretzels can be real attention-getters. If your true love doesn’t like chocolate, go for another sweet like jelly beans and hard candies. Thank goodness they’re all so affordable. You can spread your good feelings around by giving to others who are special to you.


A Valentine tea mug says “You’re mine” year round, especially a mug that’s in red or pink. Add in some candies, a special tea or maybe cocoa, possibly some cookies, and voilà! A gift fit for your special someone all wrapped up in heart-covered plastic with a red bow and one that can’t fail to impress her or him.

Plush Toys

Something else that will last long after the tea has been drunk and the treats have been eaten: a plush toy. Of course, teddy bears are du rigueur (“par for the course,” “standard ammunition for the lovelorn,” etc.) You can be a little offbeat with a plush biker dog (yes, I said “biker dog”) and show your humorous — and a bit wild — side. Or go bananas with a plush monkey. Any of these as part of your gift basket makes the teas, candies, mugs, and treats speak even louder of your love. If your giftees are young in years as well as heart, you’ll surely bring a smile to their faces. Us old fogeys will grin a bit, too.

Whatever you choose, the time is now to order. You don’t want to be empty-handed when that important moment arrives.

After you pick out a Valentine’s gift for your sweetheart, head over to A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill, and unwind with a good “cuppa.”

Irish Tea Gift Basket

Irish Tea Gift Basket

Tea is a wonderful gift to give during the holidays. While some people are more familiar with tea than others, very few people completely dislike tea, making it a very versatile gift for people of all ages. If the person you are buying tea for is not as familiar with teas as you are, you can use this as an opportunity to introduce them to new teas that they might like.

I always like to arrange my gifts in gift baskets, and that’s certainly a convenient way to give teas away as well. So start with a basket the size you would like, and depending on the size and the person you are preparing the gift basket for, you can personalize the contents as well. Here are some ideas of things you can include in your tea gift basket besides tea:

  • Tea infusers – did you include loose leaf tea? If so it might be a good idea to enclose a nice tea infuser in the basket as well just in case they do not have one or have never tried loose leaf tea before.
  • Snacks – tea goes well with snacks, especially shortbread, chocolate sticks, biscotti, or cookies.
  • A mug or teacup – Not only practical but also makes the gift basket even better. And of course you can include a mug that is appropriate for a specific occasion as well.
  • Tea! I know this is rather obvious, but try to include a variety, with both bagged and loose teas and different flavor profiles for a wide range of sampling.

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making a tea gift basket yourself, you can find many tea gift basket services at The English Tea Store, including both pre-made baskets and a “Create Your Own Tea Gift Basket” service as well which is especially impressive.

Black Electric Kettle

Black Electric Kettle

However, gift baskets are only one way to give tea during the holidays. Another tea-related gift idea is to give away teapots, tea kettles, a french press, or other tea brewing accessories. In fact, electric kettles make extremely popular Christmas gifts, being one of those gadgets which once you own them you don’t understand how you ever lived without one! I know I cherish my own electric kettle, it makes brewing teas so much easier!

So whether you choose to give the gift of a gift basket, a brewing accessory, or just simply tea, your gift is sure to please almost anyone on your shopping list this year, and give them some warmth and refreshment for the holidays.

Stephanie is the publisher of the Tea Review Blog.

[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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© Online Stores, LLC, and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, LLC., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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